Demand for OFWs still recovering amid pandemic: POEA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2022 06:04 PM

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MANILA - The demand for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) is still low due to continuing labor concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Saturday. 

In a televised public briefing, POEA Deputy Administrator Bong Plan said that despite this, deployment has risen since 2021, particularly in the seafaring industry. 

"Yon basically ang agad na naka-recover sa ating... pandemic na nae-experience natin. With regards naman po sa land-based deployments, medyo nakaka-recover na po tayo but it is much slower," according to Plan. 

Plan said the pandemic has granted opportunities to Filipino health care workers and members of the IT sector who are seeking employment outside the country.

Around 700,000 workers, meanwhile, have been repatriated but the POEA is exerting efforts to have this manpower gap filled. 

"Doon sa mga ayaw nang bumalik, mayroon namang DOLE programs sa atin para mabigyan sila ng opportunity na makapagtrabaho dito o makapagnegosyo," he added. 

President Rodrigo Duterte late last year signed a measure creating a department aimed at attending to the welfare of OFWs. 

There were some 2.2 million overseas Filipino workers in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced about half a million OFWs to go back home, officials have said.